Nowhere in England avoids the loss of young men during the First World War and the village of Shallowford is no exception. Many never return and the lives of those who do are changed forever.
Paul Craddock must rebuild the estate and the bonds broken between those who belong there. It is a time of huge social change and there are peacetime challenges as hard to surmount as those of war. And before they are met, Germany once again threatens the stability of Europe.
©2013 R.F. Delderfield (P)2013 Oakhill Publishing
"Mr Delderfield's manner is easy, modest, heartwarming." (Evening Standard)
"His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett" (Life Magazine)
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
"His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett." (Life magazine)
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads.... Its ambition: to construct the 12 Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
Am I the only person to be put in mind of the radio soap The Archers set a hundred years ago? There are the long passages where nothing much seems to happen interspersed with occasional melodramatic episodes - a plane crash, a young woman giving birth in a cave etc. There is a cast of comic rustic characters - ably portrayed by Jonathan Oliver, references to events of the day, a central character whose first wife Grace meets a tragic end, and a fair amount of squirm-inducing sex among the middle-aged - I didn't mind too much but it might be off-putting for the young. I had listened to the first book in this trilogy without realising there was more to come, and I plan to get the third volume, but feel in need of something a little racier - a good thriller perhaps - before I return to the Sorrel Valley.
I read R F Delderfield as a young woman and had forgotten how much I loved the writing in these books. What a wonderful return with a brilliant just perfect reading. Listened through this book in one weekend. If you like family sagas you will love these books. Just make sure you listen to both of them.
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